Buffalo Bills Superfan Pancho Billa Passes Away

Ezra Castro, one of the Buffalo Bills‘ most well-known fans who created a unique persona known as “Pancho Billa,” passed away on Tuesday after a determined battle with cancer.

Ezra Castro, a.k.a. Pancho Billa, Passes Away After Battle With Cancer

Castro, 39, had entered hospice care in late April but was personally involved in the selection of Buffalo’s first-round pick, Ed Oliver. The Bills front office staff, including general manager Brandon Beane, called him in his hospital room and made sure he had a part to play in the selection.

How he became a Bills fan as a Dallas, TX resident who was born in El Paso is an incredibly unique story. As a boy, he looked for a team with similar colors to Mexico’s flag as a celebration of his Mexican-American heritage. Ultimately, it came down to the Bills or the New England Patriots and he eventually chose the former. His father and brother, both named Jaime, are Dallas Cowboys fans.

Eventually, he put together a character that he named Pancho Billa. It was in reference to famed Mexican revolutionary Francisco “Pancho” Villa who made a name for himself in the early 20th century. His costume included a lucha libre mask and a serape, all in the Bills’ red, white, and blue colors along with the team’s buffalo logo.

Castro’s cancer diagnosis came in November 2017. It was around that time that he began feeling numbness in his left arm. He initially thought it was a pinched nerve. But, upon going to the doctor, he received what he termed the “worst news of my life.” A cancerous growth had wrapped around his spine and also spread to his liver, lungs, and lymph nodes.

A month later, Castro underwent surgery to remove the tumor and underwent chemotherapy afterward. At the same time, a GoFundMe page with a goal of raising $30,000 which was easily met. The following April, with the NFL Draft in his hometown of Dallas, he joined Andre Reed and Fred Jackson to announce the Bills’ third-round pick, defensive tackle Harrison Phillips.

Castro is survived by his partner Veronica Borjon, their two children Ginobili and Lourdes, as well as his mother Aurora Martinez, father Jaime Castro, and three brothers Eli, Jaime, and Zenoc.

Photo credit: Fan Man Weekly

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